Tuesday, January 8, 2013

bringing out the troll in all of us

what is it about the internet that turns us into the cruelest versions of ourselves? if you were to take a look at any opinionated stance on a hot button issue (vaccinating babies, circumcision, God in schools, republican vs. democrat, etc.) you will see that people dont respond politely- hardly ever.
i rarely- if ever- see a comment that goes something like this: "thank you for sharing how you feel on this topic and why you feel the way you, now, i would love to share my view with you and why i hold that view; maybe we can get together for coffee and dig a little deeper into the issue?"
nope. normally i see a LOT of name calling, harsh words, and just blatant anger towards someone for not seeing things the way they do.

now, i'm not innocent in this matter. i, too, have gone off the deep end when replying to someone. i try to censor myself, check myself, and breathe before replying, but sometimes, the faceless wall that is the internet takes me by the hand and i become...a 5 year old that wants to pinch the soft part of their arm (about 3 inches above the elbow) and call them a doody head.

i cant help it. i get angry..dont we all, sometimes? mostly, i lose my cool when someone starts calling you an idiot or worse (a poor parent) for your beliefs and choices. for example, some parents- especially the "crunchy" or granola-type parents, see circumcision as cruel, inhumane, and just an out right form of terrible torture. we'll call crunchy parent, parent A. so when someone replies-parent B- with a statement, "we circumcised our son due to our religious beliefs, we were there for it, he never reacted as though he was in pain, he healed nicely, and we've had no issues since then." parent A, claiming cruelty, goes defcon 5. you, my dear parent B, have just unknowingly entered yourself into war...and while you may have a few folks come to your defense; parent A will have an army of trolls seek you out, find you on other sites, and hound you incessantly.

which causes me to take step back and ask- what are these people like in real life? have i met these types? the ones who will almost stalk you with anger and name calling simply because you dont see eye to eye with them? how do they behave day to day? do they have children? how do they react when one of them disagrees with them??

recently, wsaz has been running a story about a picture of Jesus in school and a group of folks wanting it taken down. now, let me be clear, i'm not following this story. havent watched any part of it on tv. i've only seen postings on facebook about it. i clicked on the comments and it actually scared me how angry people- adults- are reacting to this. angry, personal attacks on one another.

which leads me to ask: who raised these people?? did the parents fail? who taught them that this was acceptable behavior?? what makes them think that talking/typing this way is okay?

when i was in first grade, we would say a prayer as a class before going to lunch. "God is great, God is good...etc" i loved that. i still remember this prayer, word for word. i taught it to my daughter. she says it before all her meals.

thanks to our church and our families God is a part of my children's lives. public school? not so much. Perry elementary (when Lily attended there) was okay with any and all talk about God- which i thought was awesome, but not necessary.

why isnt it necessary? because a love of God should be formed in a child's heart, cultured, and nurtured by those who love her to prepare her for the outside world. you cannot force others to love God...free will...freedom of choice...however sad it may be, some folks simply choose to walk away from the truth. and we're teaching Lily that (as we will Amelia and Cain).

so should they take the picture of Jesus down? if you ask me, no...i dont think so. i'm old-school and i dont like change. change bugs me...but that's one of my quirks.
but would i be just as okay with a picture of allah hanging in a school? honestly, i dont know. i know that Lily wouldnt care and i wouldnt "worry" about a photo convincing Lily to leave God. she's smarter than that.

i think some people just really need attention and have no idea how to get positive attention...in essence, they never outgrew their terrible twos phase. and so, you end up with these super angry comments from these folks who will literally haunt a post awaiting your reply so they can get more irate and belligerent.

i guess you need to go back to the old adage that our mothers and grandmothers taught us: if you dont have something nice to say, then dont say anything at all. and if your mother didnt teach you that, take it under advisement now. it's a wise choice.

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